Friday, November 26, 2010

Fine Arts Friday: The Sower

The famous works of Vincent van Gogh have so permeated our visual culture today--appearing in posters, on mugs, umbrellas, note cards, ties, t-shirts, calendars, etc. -- that we tend to be unaware of the huge body of work this extraordinary man left us as the fruits of barely a decade of artistic production. In viewing the Starry Night (shown here), Wheat Field with Cypresses, or the portrait of L'Arlesienne (Madame Ginoux), we are so startled by the vibrancy and colors of the painting that we imagine that van Gogh produced it in the high heat of a moment of pure genius. Such masterpieces were the result of genius and also van Gogh's persistent pursuit of visual truth in countless drawings and paintings of people, landscapes, and still lifes. Given the ferocity of his own efforts, it is not surprising that van Gogh found in labor of all kinds a subject for his study -- sowing wheat, planting potatoes, digging potatoes, burning weeds, cutting down wheat with a scythe, working in the vegetable garden, raking, olive picking, and resting in the field. He captured women sewing, knitting, cooking, doing the laundry, and tending children and men cutting wood, selling wood, weaving,taking their goods to market, and mending fishnets.

Continuing on the Thanksgiving theme, here are his studies of The Sower.

The Sower, Vincent van Gogh, 1888

The Sower, 1888

The Sower, 1888

The Sower, After Millet, 1888

The Sower, After Millet, 1889

The Sower, Outskirts of Arles in the Background, 1888

The Sower, 1888


Jodi said...

Such a beautiful mind. It's heartbreaking that he had to suffer. We've been blessed by his gifts.

tschinlr61969 said...

The top photo is called Stary Night.